If you suffered a a bulging disc injury in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income, as well as other losses. Navigating the claims process is extremely stressful, and you shouldn’t have to go at it alone. The New York car accident lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. have the knowledge and skills help you recover the compensation you need to get back on your feet. Contact us at 855-TOP-FIRM to schedule a free consultation.
What is a Bulging Disc?
A bulging disc, also known as a herniated disc, a ruptured disc, or a slipped disc, can occur when the gel-like discs that sit between each vertebra in the spine get compressed. When the tough outer shell of the disc weakens, the softer inner portion of the disc can “bulge” outward, causing severe pain, among many other symptoms.
What Are Symptoms of a Bulging Disc?
Some of the most common symptoms of a bulging disc injury include:
- Back pain that increases anytime you move, such as when coughing
- Back muscle spasms
- Lack of coordination
- Limited range of motion in the legs, ankles, and knees
- Numbness in the feet and legs
- Trouble walking
- Pain in other areas of the body
In severe cases, individuals with this type of injury could lose control of their bladder and bowel functions. If this occurs, the person must seek urgent medical care, as this indicates the spinal nerve roots have become compressed.
What is the Treatment for a Bulging Disc?
There is no singular treatment for bulging discs. It is best to seek the professional advice of a doctor if you believe you are suffering from this condition.
Depending on the location and severity of your injury, a doctor might recommend surgery to repair the disc. This is often the quickest and most effective way to resolve the issue. Some common types of surgery that are used to correct bulging discs include:
- Discectomy surgery – Through a discectomy, a surgeon will remove the bulging part of the herniated disc.
- Fusion surgery – Fusion surgery links two vertebrae together, which eliminates pain.
- Vertebroplasty – This type of surgery reinforces vertebrae using bone cement.
- Laminectomy – Laminectomies remove part of all of the vertebral bone to alleviate nerve pressure.
- Implants – Your doctor may recommend an artificial disc implant to relieve pain and help regain stability in the damaged disc.
In addition to surgery, other possible treatments include over-the-counter pain medication like Tylenol or Advil, physical therapy, exercise, stretches, yoga, and protective equipment.
What to Do for a Bulging Disc After a Car Accident
If you were injured in a car accident in New York, there are a few steps you should take after the crash:
- Call 911 and collect evidence – Call law enforcement to the scene. The police officers who respond to the accident will draft an accident report, which includes each driver’s information, a description of the damage to each vehicle, and a description of your injuries. The information contained in the accident report can be used to help prove your case. You should also take photos of your injuries and speak to any bystanders who may have witnessed the accident. Ask them for their contact information, so they can provide a statement on your behalf later.
- Seek medical attention – You should seek immediate medical care after the accident. If you believe you may have a bulging disc injury, it’s important to get it checked out by a doctor and start treatment immediately. You might need imaging tests to determine the extent of your injuries. The sooner you get a diagnosis and begin your treatment regimen, the sooner you’ll be on the road to recovery. Most insurance companies also require you to be seen within 72 hours after an accident. If you put off seeking medical care, it could hinder your claim.
- Gather documents – Getting early documentation of your medical condition will help you avoid problems with your insurance claim. Having medical records from an ER or imaging tests from a specialist will show the insurance company that your bulging disc injury resulted from the car accident.
- Follow your doctor’s orders – When your doctor recommends a treatment plan, be sure to follow it. Attend any scheduled follow-up appointments or physical therapy sessions. If there are long gaps in your treatment or you fail to follow your doctor’s treatment plan, that will give the insurance company the impression that you are not taking your injury seriously, which could damage your claim.
- Tell your insurance company – New York is a No-Fault state which means that in most cases, individuals who have been injured in a car accident will turn to their own personal injury protection (PIP) plans to recover compensation after an accident. Report the accident to your PIP provider at your earliest convenience.
Lastly, you should consult a car accident attorney who has successfully represented other clients with bulging disc injuries. Don’t sign any waivers or accept any settlements from your insurance company until you have spoken with an attorney, as these companies only look to save themselves money. A seasoned attorney can even handle communications with the insurance company for you, alleviating a huge burden.
Although New York is a No-Fault state, if you were seriously injured, you might even be able to step outside of the No-Fault system and pursue a claim against the at-fault driver, which would allow you to claim additional damages for pain and suffering. A personal injury attorney can help you identify all possible sources of compensation.
Contact a New York Car Accident Attorney Today
If you suffered a bulging disc injury in a car accident, contact the New York car accident attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. to discuss your claim. Our lawyers have the resources and skills to help you recover the fair compensation you deserve. We’ll be ready to discuss your case when you call us or reach out to us online for a free consultation.